If you’ve been to Walt Disney World since 1975, or at Disneyland between 1967 and 1995, you may have been on the PeopleMover. Sometimes called the Goodyear PeopleMover, WEDWay PeopleMover or TTA PeopleMover it was a spin-off of the Ford Magic Skyway attraction that Disney developed for the 1964 World’s Fair in Queens, New York. It was a popular attraction at the Fair, so a similar version of it was built at Disneyland a couple of years after the Fair closed. After Walt Disney World opened, another similar version was designed and built.
Over the years, PeopleMover-style vehicle systems were introduced in different parts of the country, specifically at airports, since their design worked so well in those types of environments – they could bring people and their luggage from Point A to B to C and so on, and could start, run and stop without a conductor. Chicago-O’Hare’s Airport Transit System (which was supposed to be down for renovations through the end of 2019 but its reopening was delayed) and both Orlando and Tampa International Airports, among many others, have their own versions of PeopleMovers, although they’re not the versions that Disney built. There’s only one airport that holds that distinction.
It’s the George Bush Intercontinentental Airport (IAH) in Houston.
Disney was interested in selling its PeopleMover design and when WED Enterprises (now called Disney Imagineering) put that out there, officials at IAH expressed interest. And, well, the rest is airport history. There’s a whole lot more information about Disney’s PeopleMovers, and how IAH got involved, in this video:
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary